By Stanley Hedeen
Shawnee legend tells of a herd of big bison rampaging in the course of the Ohio Valley, laying waste to all of their course. to guard the tribe, a deity slew those nice beasts with lightning bolts, eventually chasing the final large buffalo into exile around the Wabash River, by no means to bother the Shawnee back. The resource of this legend used to be a weird salt lick in present-day northern Kentucky, the place tremendous fossilized skeletons had for hundreds of years lain undisturbed via the Shawnee and different natives of the quarter. In 1739, the 1st Europeans encountered this fossil web site, which finally got here to be often called titanic Bone Lick. the positioning drew the eye of all who heard of it, together with George Washington, Daniel Boone, Benjamin Franklin, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and particularly Thomas Jefferson. the enormous bones instantly solid many medical and philosophical assumptions of the day into doubt, and so they ultimately gave upward push to the learn of fossils for organic and historic reasons. great Bone Lick: The Cradle of yankee Paleontology recounts the wealthy historical past of the fossil web site that gave the realm the 1st facts of the extinction of a number of mammalian species, together with the yank mastodon. mammoth Bone Lick has performed many jobs: nutrient resource, hallowed flooring, salt mine, wellbeing and fitness spa, and a wealthy trove of archaeological and paleontological wonders. normal historian Stanley Hedeen offers a entire narrative of massive Bone Lick from its geological formation ahead, explaining why the location attracted animals, nearby tribespeople, ecu explorers and scientists, and finally American pioneers and presidents. immense Bone Lick is the heritage of either a spot and a systematic self-discipline: it explores the infancy and early life of paleontology from its humble and occasionally funny beginnings. Hedeen combines parts of heritage, geology, politics, and biology to make tremendous Bone Lick a priceless ancient source in addition to the compelling story of ways a suite of fossilized bones captivated a tender nation.
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Extra info for Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology
17 At least three medical doctors resided at the Lick in 1883, one of whom advertised in a northern Kentucky atlas: Dr. J. E. Stevenson, Propr. of Hotel for Invalids. Waters unsurpassed. Big Bone Springs, Ky. A Physician of thirtyeight years’ experience. Special attention shown to all who visit these springs for cures. Also a pleasant resort for those desiring sport. 18 At a medical society meeting at Big Bone Lick in 1894, Dr. Myrax J. Crouch of nearby Union, Kentucky, reported that the spring waters were especially useful in combating certain health problems.
The campaign concluded in April, but Longueuil did not accompany his troops back to Canada. Instead, he continued down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and eventually sailed to France from that port at the end of the year. Longueuil carried some of the Big Bone Lick fossils with him across the Atlantic. 2 In 1740, Louisiana militiaman Philippe Mandeville used Lery’s trip log from the Longueuil expedition to draft a rough map of the Ohio River. ” Unfortunately, when the notation of the Lick’s site was reworded on Jacques Nicolas Bellin’s 1744 map of interior eastern North America, it read (in French): “Place where elephant bones were found in 1729” (ﬁgure 9).
1825], vol. 1, p. 248, plate 1; Richard Lydekker, Catalogue of the Ungulate Mammals in the British Museum , vol. 5, p. 80) Gathering the Bones known as the Siberian mammoth was nothing more than an oversized elephant, a conclusion that had already been reached by British and German anatomists. European scientists had ﬁrst learned of the Siberian mammoth during the previous century when they began receiving accounts of its fossil remains from Asia. 6 Today, we know that the Siberian (or woolly) mammoth was a unique proboscidean species that became extinct, but Daubenton and the great majority of his colleagues rejected the idea of extinction.
Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology by Stanley Hedeen